Abraham Maslow: A Humanistic Phenomenon
Abraham Maslow is considered to be the father of Humanistic Psychology. Though growing up in a cruel household, he accomplished much in his lifetime. An avid advocate of “Human Motivation”, Maslow developed many theories corresponding to the subject. This article goes into detail on his theory of Hierarchy of Needs and Self-Actualization. Maslow put forth the notion of a 5-level pyramid of needs. Psychological, Safety and Security, Love and Belonging, and Esteem were considered essential “basic” needs. These must be fulfilled before a person can reach the highest level of Self-Actualization. Maslow studied a range of historical and public figures to come to a conclusion of the characteristics of a self-actualized individual. A self- evaluation of myself concludes the essay. While evaluating yourself is never an easy task, I thought extensively on how to bring myself to a self-actualized level. I would be honored to eventually achieved the self-actualized potential, as only less than 2 percent of our population have been recorded as so.
Abraham Maslow was the first-born child of Samuel and Rose Maslow. He was born on April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were destitute, uneducated immigrants from Russia. Strongly religious, they strictly adhered to the Judaism denomination. Maslow was raised the sole Jewish boy in a non-Jewish neighborhood. Due to this, he grew up lonely and found contentment in books. Maslow once said “I was a little Jewish boy in a non-Jewish neighborhood. It was a little like being the first Negro enrolled in an all-white school. I was isolated and unhappy. I grew up in libraries and among books, without friends” (Hall, 1968, p.37) The home-life of Abraham Maslow was filled with troubled times, as well. The relationship between Maslow and his father was hostile. Being uneducated himself, Samuel Maslow forced his son to be versed in areas that were of no interest to Abraham. According to Maslow’s own recollection, his father loved whiskey, women, fighting, and regarded his son as ugly and stupid (Emrich, n.d.). Samuel frequently humiliated his son in public, causing Maslow to think of himself as disgusting. This left marks on his self-confidence. If riding the subway, he would look for an empty car, so that no one would have to see how atrocious he was. Maslow intensely despised his mother, Rose. He felt that his mother was insensitive and unloving. Showing signs of affection or love was alien to her, especially to her own family. His disgust of his mother began when she decided to place a bolt-lock on the refrigerator. She only removed the lock when she was in a pleasant mood. Maslow had a love for animals. When he was a child, he found two deserted kittens and brought them home. One evening, Rose found young Abraham feeding the kittens milk in the basement of their home. She flew into a rage and crushed the kittens’ heads against the wall. This horrific event stuck with him for the rest of his life. As an adult, Maslow eventually reconciled with his father. In interviews, he actually spoke positively of him on a few occasions. Nevertheless, he never desired to make peace with his mother. Throughout his life, his hatred continued to grow and he even refused to go to her funeral. Through all the heartache, he managed to have a valuable relationship with his uncle that continued the full-length of his lifetime. On December 31, 1928, Abraham Maslow married his long-time love and first cousin Bertha Goodman. The couple conceived two daughters, Ann and Ellen. Maslow later stated that the moment that he married Bertha, his life changed forever. He regarded this as the “true beginning of his life” and they remained happily married until his death (Emrich, n.d.). Education
In 1922, Maslow attended the Boys High School in Brooklyn (Hoffman, 1988). In high school, his love for...
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